New International Version
2 To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters[a] in Christ:
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 We always thank God,(F) the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love(G) you have for all God’s people(H)— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope(I) stored up for you in heaven(J) and about which you have already heard in the true message(K) of the gospel 6 that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit(L) and growing throughout the whole world(M)—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. 7 You learned it from Epaphras,(N) our dear fellow servant,[c] who is a faithful minister(O) of Christ on our[d] behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.(P)
9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you,(Q) we have not stopped praying for you.(R) We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will(S) through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,[e](T) 10 so that you may live a life worthy(U) of the Lord and please him(V) in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,(W) 11 being strengthened with all power(X) according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,(Y) 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father,(Z) who has qualified you[f] to share in the inheritance(AA) of his holy people in the kingdom of light.(AB) 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness(AC) and brought us into the kingdom(AD) of the Son he loves,(AE) 14 in whom we have redemption,(AF) the forgiveness of sins.(AG)
The Supremacy of the Son of God
15 The Son is the image(AH) of the invisible God,(AI) the firstborn(AJ) over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created:(AK) things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;(AL) all things have been created through him and for him.(AM) 17 He is before all things,(AN) and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head(AO) of the body, the church;(AP) he is the beginning and the firstborn(AQ) from among the dead,(AR) so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased(AS) to have all his fullness(AT) dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile(AU) to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven,(AV) by making peace(AW) through his blood,(AX) shed on the cross.
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies(AY) in your minds(AZ) because of[g] your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled(BA) you by Christ’s physical body(BB) through death to present you(BC) holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation(BD)— 23 if you continue(BE) in your faith, established(BF) and firm, and do not move from the hope(BG) held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven,(BH) and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.(BI)
Paul’s Labor for the Church
24 Now I rejoice(BJ) in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions,(BK) for the sake of his body, which is the church.(BL) 25 I have become its servant(BM) by the commission God gave me(BN) to present to you the word of God(BO) in its fullness— 26 the mystery(BP) that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known(BQ) among the Gentiles the glorious riches(BR) of this mystery, which is Christ in you,(BS) the hope of glory.
28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing(BT) and teaching everyone with all wisdom,(BU) so that we may present everyone fully mature(BV) in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously(BW) contend(BX) with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.(BY)
2 I want you to know how hard I am contending(BZ) for you and for those at Laodicea,(CA) and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart(CB) and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery(CC) of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.(CD) 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.(CE) 5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit(CF) and delight to see how disciplined(CG) you are and how firm(CH) your faith in Christ(CI) is.
Spiritual Fullness in Christ
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord,(CJ) continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted(CK) and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught,(CL) and overflowing with thankfulness.
9 For in Christ all the fullness(CO) of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head(CP) over every power and authority.(CQ) 11 In him you were also circumcised(CR) with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh[i](CS) was put off when you were circumcised by[j] Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism,(CT) in which you were also raised with him(CU) through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.(CV)
13 When you were dead in your sins(CW) and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you[k] alive(CX) with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,(CY) 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness,(CZ) which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.(DA) 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities,(DB) he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them(DC) by the cross.[l]
Freedom From Human Rules
16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you(DD) by what you eat or drink,(DE) or with regard to a religious festival,(DF) a New Moon celebration(DG) or a Sabbath day.(DH) 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come;(DI) the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility(DJ) and the worship of angels disqualify you.(DK) Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. 19 They have lost connection with the head,(DL) from whom the whole body,(DM) supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.(DN)
20 Since you died with Christ(DO) to the elemental spiritual forces of this world,(DP) why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules:(DQ) 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish(DR) with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings.(DS) 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility(DT) and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
Living as Those Made Alive in Christ
3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ,(DU) set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.(DV) 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.(DW) 3 For you died,(DX) and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your[m] life,(DY) appears,(DZ) then you also will appear with him in glory.(EA)
5 Put to death,(EB) therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature:(EC) sexual immorality,(ED) impurity, lust, evil desires and greed,(EE) which is idolatry.(EF) 6 Because of these, the wrath of God(EG) is coming.[n] 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.(EH) 8 But now you must also rid yourselves(EI) of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander,(EJ) and filthy language from your lips.(EK) 9 Do not lie to each other,(EL) since you have taken off your old self(EM) with its practices 10 and have put on the new self,(EN) which is being renewed(EO) in knowledge in the image of its Creator.(EP) 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew,(EQ) circumcised or uncircumcised,(ER) barbarian, Scythian, slave or free,(ES) but Christ is all,(ET) and is in all.
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves(EU) with compassion, kindness, humility,(EV) gentleness and patience.(EW) 13 Bear with each other(EX) and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.(EY) 14 And over all these virtues put on love,(EZ) which binds them all together in perfect unity.(FA)
15 Let the peace of Christ(FB) rule in your hearts, since as members of one body(FC) you were called to peace.(FD) And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ(FE) dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom(FF) through psalms,(FG) hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.(FH) 17 And whatever you do,(FI) whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks(FJ) to God the Father through him.
Instructions for Christian Households(FK)
18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands,(FL) as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
21 Fathers,[o] do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance(FM) from the Lord as a reward.(FN) It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.(FO)
4 Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair,(FP) because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.
2 Devote yourselves to prayer,(FQ) being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door(FR) for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery(FS) of Christ, for which I am in chains.(FT) 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise(FU) in the way you act toward outsiders;(FV) make the most of every opportunity.(FW) 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace,(FX) seasoned with salt,(FY) so that you may know how to answer everyone.(FZ)
7 Tychicus(GA) will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant[p](GB) in the Lord. 8 I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our[q] circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts.(GC) 9 He is coming with Onesimus,(GD) our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you.(GE) They will tell you everything that is happening here.
10 My fellow prisoner Aristarchus(GF) sends you his greetings, as does Mark,(GG) the cousin of Barnabas.(GH) (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) 11 Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews[r] among my co-workers(GI) for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras,(GJ) who is one of you(GK) and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you,(GL) that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature(GM) and fully assured. 13 I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea(GN) and Hierapolis. 14 Our dear friend Luke,(GO) the doctor, and Demas(GP) send greetings. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea,(GQ) and to Nympha and the church in her house.(GR)
16 After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read(GS) in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.
- Colossians 1:2 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in 4:15.
- Colossians 1:2 Some manuscripts Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
- Colossians 1:7 Or slave
- Colossians 1:7 Some manuscripts your
- Colossians 1:9 Or all spiritual wisdom and understanding
- Colossians 1:12 Some manuscripts us
- Colossians 1:21 Or minds, as shown by
- Colossians 2:8 Or the basic principles; also in verse 20
- Colossians 2:11 In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit; also in verse 13.
- Colossians 2:11 Or put off in the circumcision of
- Colossians 2:13 Some manuscripts us
- Colossians 2:15 Or them in him
- Colossians 3:4 Some manuscripts our
- Colossians 3:6 Some early manuscripts coming on those who are disobedient
- Colossians 3:21 Or Parents
- Colossians 4:7 Or slave; also in verse 12
- Colossians 4:8 Some manuscripts that he may know about your
- Colossians 4:11 Greek only ones of the circumcision group
New International Version
Thanksgiving and Prayer
4 I always thank my God(I) as I remember you in my prayers,(J) 5 because I hear about your love for all his holy people(K) and your faith in the Lord Jesus.(L) 6 I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. 7 Your love has given me great joy and encouragement,(M) because you, brother, have refreshed(N) the hearts of the Lord’s people.
Paul’s Plea for Onesimus
8 Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, 9 yet I prefer to appeal to you(O) on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner(P) of Christ Jesus— 10 that I appeal to you for my son(Q) Onesimus,[b](R) who became my son while I was in chains.(S) 11 Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.
12 I am sending him—who is my very heart—back to you. 13 I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains(T) for the gospel. 14 But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forced(U) but would be voluntary. 15 Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever— 16 no longer as a slave,(V) but better than a slave, as a dear brother.(W) He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.
17 So if you consider me a partner,(X) welcome him as you would welcome me. 18 If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me.(Y) 19 I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand.(Z) I will pay it back—not to mention that you owe me your very self. 20 I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh(AA) my heart in Christ. 21 Confident(AB) of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask.
25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.(AK)